Amana Freezer 5k 2017

On January 21st I ran my first race of  2017, a 5K in the Amana Colonies.  It was my first outdoor run since a minor injury on December 22nd that prevented me from running for 2 weeks. It was warm for January in Iowa, at race time it was misty and about 40 f.   To be honest the weather didn’t matter, I was just happy to be running and outside!
 It wasn’t my fast 5k, in fact my time was nothing spectacular.  I didn’t want to do anything too extreme and cause harm in the event that I was not fully healed.  Post race we wandered about town taking in the sights and activities of the Annual WinterFest activities in town.   Including taking advantage of our free beer at Millstream Brewing, the Windmill Wheat was pretty good.

Simplification continued…

As I continued to think about the things that do not bring me joy and happiness, I hatched a plan to assist me with the removal of things that aren’t bettering life in someway.  A goal that will keep me accountable throughout the year!

I have decided to remove one thing each day in 2017 that isn’t useful, or bringing happiness into life.  I had some catching up to do; as I didn’t get this idea until very early on January 3rd.  Let me show you what has already been liberated from my home and life!

Now I know you might be looking at these pictures and wondering whether or not I have lost my mind.  Let me assure you the only item of any value or worth anything is the Sonicare Toothbrush.  It is something we recently won as a door prize, we have no use for a kids toothbrush so I gave it to someone who could make use of it.  I also recycled 3 empty boxes, 2 of which were for items we no longer have. As a runner I can assure I do still have and use that foam roller.  I just don’t really need the box. The final item was a partially used tub of protein powder that expired more than 2 years ago.  That was hidden on a shelf in the pantry.  There you have it, my first four days of simplifying my life.

I know, there were no big sacrifices here, most of it was ‘junk’ therefore it was easy to get rid of.  One has to start somewhere,  I didn’t run a full marathon the first day I ran.  I will allow myself some grace on this project as well.

So far I am enjoying this project and pleased with the results.

Simplifying Life

With the new year I have been giving a lot of thought to things.  Literally, the things in my life, the stuff I have.  Is it all really necessary?   Work, yeah since I’m not independently wealthy that IS necessary.  Seriously, there are many items in my life that fall outside of food and basic needs, some of it makes life fun, some makes life easier.  I’ve been wondering though, is it all really necessary?  I’ve come to the conclusion the answer is no and decided that 2017 is the year to simplify my life.  I am going to work on getting rid of the things in my life that do not add to my life; or help make me a better person.  It will be important to not overthink what should stay and what should go.  If I am not using it and it is not contributing to a better life, why have it?

Let me share what I am talking about.  Running shoes, they are needed!  Running contributes significantly to my happiness, it has connected me with so many wonderful people and allowed me to support others in discovering just how strong they are.  Do I need all my running shoes that I have ever had?  No! Doesn’t matter that they are still good shoes for everyday wear.  It isn’t like I am actually getting use out of most of them these days.  I am positive that someone out there would love to have any single pair of them to replace their old, worn out shoes. I should re-home my retired running shoes giving them a better life and simplifying mine.

What Happened?

So it’s been April since I added a post to this site.  That is crazy, and I am a little embarrassed that it has been that long.

I have been busy making 2016 EPIC, a year that I won’t forget, ever.

In April I busy preparing for the Lincoln, NE Half Marathon, a Bucket List race for me because I could finish on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium.  I had a blast, not just because I ran in Lincoln, I was able to meet many members of the local RWB teams and made some new friends.  This was also a PR for me, finishing in less that 2.5 hours.

I last talked about considering taking on 50k or 50 miles, wondering if I had lost my mind.  I ran that event, the Eagle Up Ultra in Canal Fulton, OH.  I completed the 50 mile distance, it was hard but I DID IT!!

9 days later I ran a PR at the 5k distance on the 4th of July.  What?!?!

I also ran Ragnar Great River with a new team.  Ran the Ragnar leg, double medal for me.

I ran the NewBo 10k this year, instead of the half only because it was 6 days before my second marathon.  Running a small event Apple Dumpling Day Races, with a friend who would be completing her first marathon.

Five weeks later, I ran the Des Moines IMT Marathon, it was hot, humid & hilly. Once again, I got it done.

I have one more marathon left, more on that later, it’s special.

I am also in the beginning stages of planning what to run in 2017.  I am not sure how on earth anything can be more EPIC that 2016…..

Have I lost my mind?!

I am pretty sure I have not, although I am struggling to explain why I think signing up for the Eagle Up Ultra 24 hour endurance run is a good idea. RunCanton

The decision that needs to be made is 50k or 50 miles, both seem really really far to my brain.

As of right now the plan is for this to go down, but first I must focus on my next bucket list race.   Lincoln Marathon, I am running the half and pretty darn excited to be able to finish on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium!!

Hawkeye 25K

Yesterday I ran the Hawkeye 25K in Solon IA. The first 7 miles or so followed a crushed limestone path along Lake McBride.


We then had a water crossing, at points the water was well above ankle deep and cold. At race start it was around 23 degrees, sunny but certainly cold.

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Immediately following the water crossing, we climbed up into the woods and completed a 3 mile loop through a ravine. Lots of up and downs and some muddy trail at some points. It didn’t matter, the path was beautiful which outweighed the difficulty.


After popping out of the woods, there was a small bit where we wandered through park fields and roads before making it a highway that we followed for the last 3 plus miles back to the finish line. It was a well planned event, the course was well marked and overall I felt pretty darn good at the finish. Upon finishing, I made my way to one of the aid stations and hung out helping until the final runner passed. Then I went back to the finish line and helped cheer the remaining runners to the finish. It was a long day, challenging, fun and rewarding!

Race Report: Amana Freezer 5k

First race of the year!  Woohooo, it’s only been 23 days since my last ‘race’ yet it feels like it’s been so much longer.
12514006_10207075679443736_4821506229687828292_oToday was the Amana Colonies Winterfest, one of the events at the festival is the Freezer 5k.  2016 is the second year in a row I have run this event, both years the weather has been decent for January in Iowa.  At race time the temperature was about 21 degrees and sunny.   It was cool enough that I felt sluggish early on due to being cold at the start, that’s okay I picked up speed the further I ran.  Negative splits are always nice, I ended the race with a course PR as well as a PR at the 5k distance.  We are not talking just any PR, but one of more than 2 minutes!  I credit the PR to all the training I am doing for Phoenix in February, so excited to see the hard work paying off.

The course is relatively flat, it does have a few small hills as it turns around in East Amana.  After the race there are plenty of events that take place throughout the day as a part of the overall Festival.  Ham-Put seemed to be very popular, an event where participants see how far the can throw a ham, shot-put style.  One of my favorites is the Open Fire Chili, the opportunity to enjoy chili made by the Amana Fire Department while standing around an open fire.12565554_10207076070373509_2848452603824556558_n

When you just have to do more.

Today was a scheduled 16-18 mile run on the training plan.  All along I had intended to run 18, I want to test the longer distances when the plan calls for them.   Heading in to the weekend it was obvious that the weather was going to be less than desirable, especially today.  I couldn’t swap days and run the 18 on Saturday due to it being my Saturday to work.  I could not try to run them on Thursday or Friday due to work travel.

I resigned I was going to have to run indoors, this would be my longest indoor run to date.  Uggh!  The rest of the crew was able to run on Saturday, so it was up to me to get this done.  I showed up at the gym shortly after 5 am with a plan to get these miles in before the gym got too crowded.  I ran the first 5 miles around the track and then moved over to a treadmill.  Around mile 13 my brain decided I felt good and we were going to run 20 miles today.  What?!?  I have not run 20 miles before, and certainly not indoors.  I ran a total of 13.1 on the treadmill before moving back to the track to finish out the last 2 miles with Mom.


I am glad I did it, today I gained more confidence in my ability to get this done!  This evening my feet are a little sore, overall I feel great.   The weather next weekend is looking like it will be much better, even warmer than normal for a January in Iowa.  I’ll take it.



Miles last week – 38.86

MTD Miles – 109.68

What is the longest distance/time you have run on a treadmill?

What temperature do you consider too cold to run outside?

Phoenix in February

Several months ago I registered to run my fourth half marathon in Phoenix at the Phoenix Marathon.  This trip will be with a group of friends and fellow Team RWB members, most of whom are planning to run the full marathon.  My plan was to continue with a 9-13 mile run each week in order to stay conditioned for the distance over the winter.  Due to the need to have running partners on our local trail I started running with some of them, and began to increase my mileage as they did.

As of this week I am officially registered as a marathon participant.  Eeek!  I knew I wanted to run a full in 2016, but the original plan was for it to be much later in the year.  We are 48 days away, double Eeek!

Here is where we are at thus far in my training:

Miles last week – 41

January MTD Miles – 64.88

I can do this!!!


Running in to 2016

I finished out 2015 with a 3.1 mile run in the “Last Race of the Year” and started 2016 with a 1.6 mile run to finish the Runner’s World Winter 2015 Run Streak.

Now what?  I am already signed up for 4 races, one for each of the first 4 months.  I have a bucket list race that if all goes well in the next few hours I will be signed up for in May.  Is there more to keep me motivated between races and throughout my training?  Here is another challenge I stumbled across the Twelve Monthly Challenges over at No Meat Athlete.  I like having this type of challenge, it helps push me to do more, the goal is already out there for me.  I just have to go do it, in today’s busy world sometimes having the goal already set is the only push I need.

Challenge number one is a 30 day run streak, pretty sure I can handle that since I am on day 40 something already.  Let’s do this!